Thursday, January 31, 2008


For a few weeks I've been in the interesting state of non-want. There weren't any consumer purchases other than food that I wanted to make. Usually there's some kind of gadget, or household item, or DVD, or book, or something that I'd idly like to pick up. For a while I wanted a plastic collander, but it seems less important now than it did in those heady days of the end of the holidays.

Now there are at least two things I want to buy. Well, I'd be happy to pick them up for free by borrowing them, but failing that I'm getting ready to shell out some dosh.

1. A bike. I currently walk to school, and it's very pleasant and I get a lot of reading done. The reason I'm sorely tempted to get a bike is a simple one - I could get home faster, and thus be able to sneak home at lunchtime, or during non-contact time, and see my lovely family. I don't want to drive as it's unhealthy from both an exercise and polluting-my-environment POV, so a bike is a great speed/environment/$ compromise.

2. House season 3 (and 4). We borrowed the DVDs of seasons 1 and 2 from Luke and Sam, and it's an awesome show. We'd very much like to see the next season ASAP. Is the season that just started on TV here season 4? We watched the first episode of that just after finishing season 2, and it was neat, but there's clearly a lot we've missed out on.

So, anyone got House to lend us, or a surplus bike? I'm thinking Trademe is a good place to look for a bike...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

This is not a baby picture

I think the cat is getting a little sick of us paying so much attention to an entity which is not,at the end of the day, our cat. Worse, she has been evicted from our bedroom where she used to sleep. This photo represents the first in a series of civil unrest protests the cat has staged. We expect all manner of protest actions in the next few weeks and months, until we eventually cave in and let her back in with us (which will probably be when Dominic moves into his own room, and we can shift our focus to keeping the cat out of his room, rather than a whole wing of the house...).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Back to work

It had to happen eventually, but in about ten minutes I have to return to work. It's been a fantastic summer holidays, the best ever for obvious reasons, and it's a sad thing that I have to go spend time away from my family. On the up side, my work days aren't exactly long, and I'm not far from home, so I should be able to pop home for the odd lunch here and there :-)

Photos, again!

This is part of Dominic's daily workout, exercising away on his baby gym. That's right, it's not a play mat, it's a gym. For the buff babies.

And here's Dom working out with a personal trainer on his swiss ball. OK, it was Debbie's swiss ball, but Dom has more or less inherited it now. It's really good for encouraging him to lift his head and shoulders, and apparently good for developing his sense of balance.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The many faces of Dominic

Dominic is having a growth spurt at the moment, which basically means he's spending most of his waking hours feeding. In between feeds we managed to snap a couple of photos of him:

It's quite entertaining, the range of expression the little guy has. He's also on a continual learning curve, mastering such awesome skills as 'push with feet whilst parents make you dance the charleston by bouncing you around on the floor' and 'lie on a swiss ball and be really, really fascinated by household objects'. He managed to grip a rattle for a few seconds today (once I'd coaxed his fingers around it) and would have happily bashed himself in the head with it three times if I hadn't had my fingers in the way :-)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Why do I love dice so much?

I have a lot of dice. More dice than I need for just about any game (except Dogs in the Vineyard and Princes' Kingdom). So why do I see dice at Kapcon and think that I'd like more?

I guess it might be a bit like many of the purchases I make. I tend to think about things and shop around, and even after I buy something like a TV, I still notice the prices and features of other TVs in the shops for a long time afterwards - sometimes months, sometimes longer. Dice have been a desirable commodity since I was about ten or so, and I haven't actually bought dice on many occasions. I have bought a pound'o'dice, and then a few individual die to fill in the gaps, so now I have all the dice I sensibly need, and more.

But I still covet pounds'o'dice, and interesting sets of dice.

Moving through stages

It's really nice to see a variety of people who are at different stages of the whole starting a family thing. At kapcon today I talked to people with preschoolers, with babies, and those who are about to become parents. It's really nice to see where people who are ahead of us are, and also to be able to chat to someone who is getting close to starting a family. I like that our birth story is a positive one, and while there were things that were really difficult to deal with, we don't have and 'horror stories', just things that we found tough.

One of the hardest things for us was the hospital stay, and the uncertainty of not knowing when we'd be able to take Dominic home (the comment about not being allowed to take him home in case he 'fell off the perch' overnight and us and Wellington Hospital ended up on the front page of the Dominion Post was not a great way to end our third day in hospital). The actual total number of days in hospital wasn't too bad, but the uncertainty and mixed messages were hard to deal with. But apart from that probably common experience, Debbie's prenancy and labour, though tough, were relatively 'normal', and our first six weeks with Dominic have been the best 6 weeks of my life.

So, it's great to see people with new babies, people with toddlers, people starting out on the whole pregnancy journey - it helps me to appreciate how far we've come, to look ahead to what's coming up, and hopefully to be able to talk encouragingly to those who are starting out. Every baby and every delivery is different, so I don't feel like I can offer anyone any advice, but I can honestly and happily talk about how cool the whole starting-a-family thing is, and all the awesome stuff that we've learned and done so far :-)

Busy Week

Whew! I know I'm still on holiday, but that was a busy week. It featured a quite pointless visit to the hospital, a Baby and You class, preparations for Kapcon, a Plunket visit and our last midwife visit, and then Kapcon itself. We also walked to a cafe on Friday, which was very nice, and probably did some other stuff too. Oh, we had a plumber come round and cut a hole in the deck to gain access to the 'gully', the kind of master drain for the house - it was blocked, and causing bad smells and minor flooding under the house. It's all good now, and the bathroom has gone back to smelling nice - especially so because of the delicious Lush soap that's in the shower at the moment.

We're looking forward to seeing photos from Kapcon up on the web, and are already talking about the kinds of games we want to run for kids groups in five or six years. I think the idae of a roleplaying game which includes activities, like making paper hats so your characters can sneak onto a pirate ship, or doing a treasure hunt to get all the parts you need to build a machine would be cool. Gaming with movement and arts-and-crafts would be neat. I'm thinking about maybe writing and running such a game for adults in a couple of kapcons' time, as a way to practice for when the kids are old enough :-) I can think of a few gamers who'd be up for making newspaper costumes and completing physical challenges for sticker rewards to put on their character sheets...

Monday, January 14, 2008

A week of firsts

So, busy week this last week with Baby and You classes (follow-up to antenatal - with me as the only guy in a room full of mums and babies (though some of the babies were boys)), Dominic's first shower (he really enjoys showers, it turns out), our first time jogging with Dominic in the stroller (managed 25 minutes today), and his first visit back to hospital since being discharged 5 weeks ago.

The hospital visit was positive, though fairly pointless. We drove all the way down for a ten minute appointment, during which the specialist basically told us 'we need to get a CT scan, then see how he's doing'. Which we've known since we left hospital. The good part is that there was no bad news, but we really could have just talked on the phone for 5 minutes, since he didn't do more than glance at Dominic - no listening to his breathing, tapping his chest, nothing. At least the news was good. Oh, and the possible operation time could be as soon as 6 months - though we won't know for sure until after the CT.

Lastly, here's a cool imperius picture :-)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

One Month Old Today

Not me, obviously, but the little man. We bought him a baby gym as a present :-)

We decided not to let him play with the plastic bag wrapping stuff it came in, for one because it's not as much fun as a box, and two there's a certain amount of choking hazard in little babies playing with plastic bags. Even if they are the most beautiful things in the world.

We were pleased to see that Dominic was at least mildly entertained by his new toy - and hopefully will become more so as he grows older.

Movies Seen on DVD
We've watched a few dvds in the past couple of days - Die Hard 4.0, Simpsons Movie, 28 Weeks Later and Blades of Glory. I enjoyed all of them to some extent. Here's my extent-o-metre ratings:

Die Hard 4.0 - a fun action movie with a pretty good cast. Not hugely Die Hardish, or particularly plot-clever, but a fun movie to watch with some impressive stunts. I liked the really dumb rock song about Die Hard that's on the DVD, and the interview with the band. 3/4 extent of enjoyment.

Simpsons Movie
- just like watching a 2 part tv episode, but with some oddly unnecessary CG animation thrown in. No more (or better) jokes than most of the good TV episodes. So OK, but not really an 'event' movie. A mildly amusing 5/11.

Blades of Glory - exactly as stupid and fun as I was expecting. Perfectly pitched for the sleep deprived, with strong performances from all cast members (I'm getting to quite like Will Ferrel). 26/38.

28 Weeks Later - worth a post of its own, this was a great horror movie in my opinion. Tense, well put together, and with characters who didn't make a bunch of frustratingly silly decisions. Debbie and I particularly liked the selfish life-preserving actions of Robert Carlyle at the start, and the 'kill everyone' back-up plan that the military put into action. A pleasant exploration of the 'everyone does the right thing and they're still screwed' situation. Well scary. 12 corpses out of a bakers' dozen.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Yet more Dominic

There will be non-baby content here occasionally, though right now I am obviously quite baby-obsessed :-)

I guess maybe I shouldn't have told him that milk comes from cows?

Head lifting

Debbie takes the credit for this rather awesome shot of what is, I think, Dominic's longest and most vertical head lift so far!

Also, British comedy series 'That Mitchell and Webb Look' is really, really cool. It's a fun sketch show in the tradition of Alas Smith and Jones, with some great recurring characters. Well recommended (though we only have 4 episodes so far (of 6) - damn data cap!).

Monday, January 07, 2008

4 weeks old

This was Dominic yesterday, at 4 weeks of age:

And this was the day before, with Dominic enjoying some time on his stomach.

He can now lift his head up for about 12 seconds, and if you give him something to push off (like your hand) he can 'commando crawl' a couple of feet. He tries to hook his toes in to the ground, but hasn't quite sorted that out yet. This is a good thing, since as soon as he does get his toes sorted he'll be able to propel himself all over the place if he's ever on his tummy. He can't roll over yet, so we're safe for a while, but we're already looking at the house and pondering how big a job baby-proofing it is going to be.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Full time parenting

The past 3 and a half weeks have been really, really cool. Being a new parent, whilst tiring, is fantastic. It's also pretty amazing that it's been the summer holidays for me, so I've been able to spend pretty much all my time with Dominic and Debbie (I did pop in to work on the Thursday after he was born for a few hours). It's a huge life change, and it is wonderful.

For those interested, Dominic's weight gain since we got home has been a steady 40 - 45 grams a day, and though it's hard to get him to stretch out for measuring we think he's about 2-3cm longer now than he used to be. He's already started outgrowing some of his newborn clothes (he's in a 0-3 month outfit today (000), and the length is perfect).